Posted by psgels on 24 November 2011 with categories: Un-Go



Holy crap! This show just continues to get better and better. With this episode, it once again surpassed itself. This really was everything that an episodic series should be. And heck, this is why I’m a fan of the genre: because they’re able to put in episodes like this. What a trip.

To be fair though, the reason I’m a fan of this genre mostly stems from quite a few years ago. During the past few years the genre has dulled in a bit because it lost sight of what made it really special: the way in which it allows a much more diverse outlook on its story and setting compared to if it was just a continuous storyline. I’m not sure what caused the decline, but overall a big difference of episodic series of the last years is that nearly always, the episodic stories are kept similar to each other, with little chances to branch out, like what this episode of Un-Go did.

I’m not sure exactly why this happened. Heck, back in 2003 you’d even have series that were collections of short stories that are completely unrelated to each other (Human Crossing, Sentimental Journey, Rumic Theater). That’s something that’s completely unthinkable nowadays. Probably a factor was that around 5 years ago, fillers got really notorious. With the arrival of the internet, and how the number of anime each season exploded, audiences got less patient and random episodes that were meant to just fill time pretty much died out apart from kids’ series and popular shounen series. This lead to a huge decrease in filler episodes, but also episodes that want to try a different story for a change.

The suspense in this episode was really great. It was a very interesting idea to just stuff the male lead into this position where nothing makes sense, and it’s up to him to figure out not just what’s going on (this probably is an illusion), but also why everything is happening. It was delightfully paranoid, and the pacing of this episode was completely different from the rest of the series. I also liked how the actresses were used in this episode: on one hand their characterization was very good as they tried to relate to the plot in their own ways, but on the other hands this was about a movie that has girls running around in their underwear as some sort of criticism of modern entertainment. Un-Go may technically not be episodic because of how some of its episodes flow into each other, but it has the same air, in which it tries to flesh its setting and themes out through vastly different cases, and individual episodes that could very well be all perfectly fine standalone stories.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

12 Responses

  1. DJrunn3r says:

    I agree. This was a fantastic episode to an already fantastic series.

  2. kurini says:

    I hate it when I don’t get what is really happened!I thought they will explain it at the end, but no, they will let us know in the next episode… but well, I do have an idea what happened… but still!

  3. Guest says:

    I’m going to get about zero sleep tonight trying to figure this one out, hopefully I’ll get some sleep before next week.

    The only clue I turned up on a second watch is the clipboard the director’s holding right after he slaps Shinjuro around a bit: it seems to be a map of the prison, and it has indicators for four people (3 “Fs” for the actresses, one “G” which I’m guessing means “Guest”).

    Seems like maybe there is no director? Or the director *is* Shinjuro?

  4. Guest says:

    In case it’s not clear: there ought to be indicators for 5 people, Shinjuro, director, 3 actresses, but the clipboard only has 4.

  5. Perm says:

    oAo On the clipboard, Motoko and Sumie are there but the 3rd actress isn’t…

    Hmm.

  6. Guest says:

    G could also be guard too, it is a clue but hard to parse for sure.

  7. mulligan says:

    Really intriguing twist, I’m definitely glad I didn’t give up on Un-Go.

    Slightly off-topic, but this series has the maddest ending tunes I’ve heard gracing on anime (dare I say, ever?).

  8. kero says:

    That just wrinkled my brain.

    He’s obviously stuck in some illusion (the trickling words on screen was a homage to Matrix?)
    but what does it all mean??

    @psgels, you talk about episodic anime, but, this episode draws on what happens in the previous episode, and it’s going to continue on into the next episode.. so I’m not sure it counts as what you’re saying it is, unless episodic also includes 2-3 episode arcs?

  9. DangerMouse says:

    “I’m going to get about zero sleep tonight trying to figure this one out”

    Same here thoughts will be flying around in my head as I try to fall asleep, I know it, lol.

    Agreed, I keep loving this show more each week.

  10. Loz says:

    Trippy episode. Definately one which you had to pay attention to the detail (or lack of it due to the illusion)

    For example at about 8:40 and 13 minutes in, Shinjurou is clearly leaning on something (i assume a wall) yet we can only see the illusion background behind him, and all the way through the episode we get hints of the true reality, like when shinjurou’s eating, is he actually in a dinning hall? not outside, or when he is talking to the actresses (i assume prison inmates) the director (i assume prison guard) keeps telling him to stop slacking off or looking at the women. It always appears that he is behind a wall when talking to them. The only thing that seemed real where the room he slept in.

    And seeing as shinjurou got arrested at the end of the episode, i can only assume he is not being held as an inmate himself, but working at the prison (for whatever reason).

    Oh well whatever. Anyway, I would like it/ wouldnt be surprised if in the next episode we got to see some of the actions that happened in this episode without the illusion.

    Anyway great episode as usual.

  11. Puran says:

    The scene where he falls down, reminded me of Steins;Gate a bit. I mean how the framerate just tripled. It’s a pretty cool way to add some emphasis and creepiness to a scene.

  12. Anno says:

    Clipboard is a pretty big clue I reckon, if you look carefully, under the F’s (felons?) and G (Guard?) are the names. It seems Shinjuro has become an inmate for some reason, and one of the actresses seems to be missing and I’m going to guess it’s the short hair one and the same one who was talking to the director (guard?). There also appears to be a map on the clipboard,probably of the prison. I gather that the actresses meet with Shinjuro during meals at the canteen (the drinks and food/breaks). Everything else is probably an illusion created by the white haired thingo next to the novelist, maybe a special ability to create lies instead of Inga’s ability to unearth the truth.

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  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 06:52 AM)
    Jezz, I was almost certain that I would cover Orange, mainly because I never have thought it would be on top of the polls. Anw, it’s good to see how Aidan cover it as it appears I’m a much more easy-marker than Aidan
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:40 AM)
    There is a hipster movement of contrarianism, that they just like to hate on whatever’s popular and deemed kinda mainstream. I get defensive when they shit on classics like Akira, Berserk and Ghost in The Shell. I see that wasn’t the case here. Anybody can sincerely dislike Anything; that’s fine.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 AM)
    I see your point too. We can certainly take the stance of judging a thing by its own merit, unobstructed by social influences and constrains of time. Yet even at that Evangelion is a fairly slick piece of science fiction, and an interesting watch. At worst it’s boring and contrived, but that’s harmless. Never really fair to call it shit.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:20 AM)
    @Aidan: looking back soberly I did come back a little too heated. That’s uncalled for and I’m sorry for that. I usually don’t lash out of unrelated daily stress, but there are mistakes here and there.
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:22 AM)
    @Aidan hahaha can’t wait for the episode reviews for Orange. It’s gonna really test you.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:58 AM)
    Look I knew how this would end before it began. We have done this already and neither of us are changing our stance. K-Off laid out things perfectly with his response so I see no reason to elaborate. Only reason I jumped in was because you brought Fate into it and if that was the bait then congrats, you won. I see no reason to continue the farce with no compromise in sight.
    In other words, need sleep. Goodnight.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:53 AM)
    @Bam,”I never said the problems it has gets erased by its early release or cultural significance”
    Neither did I. I said you are hand waving it’s problems by stating so, which you are.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 02:32 AM)
    …And orange is still top of the poll…ugh. Seems like this is going to be torture for me. Kiznaiver was already trying my patience with those speeches but if Orange is even worse…oh boy…
  • mamamoo
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:35 AM)
    Anyways I’m sure an emotionally manipulating soundtrack will make the anime a bit better :)

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